You’ve probably seen “VOC-free” on the side of a paint can or an air freshener, but the truth is that VOCs are found in a ton of different materials, including your asphalt patches. If you’ve ever driven on a newly paved road, you’ll know the smell of freshly laid asphalt. That smell was once considered the price of progress but now it’s seen as a health hazard. That’s why many public works projects have begun to switch to VOC-free asphalt.
Asphalts that contain VOCs have been gaining popularity in recent years for its fast dry-time and quick installation. But there is a dark side to VOC asphalt too; it can be hazardous to your health if not handled and installed properly. Let’s take a closer look at the scary truth behind this seemingly innocuous material and why it matters to use VOC-free asphalt.
What are VOCs?
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, which are organic compounds that have a high vapor pressure at normal temperatures. VOC asphalt typically contains volatile hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and formaldehyde.
These compounds evaporate quickly into the air when exposed to heat or sunlight, which can be dangerous if inhaled. In fact, some experts believe that exposure to these compounds can cause long-term health issues! Issues caused by exposure to VOCs can be as minor as headaches or as major as contributing to cancer.
These emissions not only have serious implications for human health. The presence of these chemicals also contributes to air pollution and smog formation.
The Dangers of Working with VOCs
The most common danger associated with working with VOC asphalt is overexposure. Overexposure occurs when workers are exposed to excessive amounts of the harmful chemicals found in the material for an extended period of time.
It is important that workers wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and masks when handling and installing VOC asphalt in order to protect themselves from potential harm. Additionally, it is important that any area where VOC asphalt is being used be well ventilated so that any fumes can be safely dispersed into the environment without putting anyone at risk of overexposure. However, taking these precautions doesn’t 100% guarantee protection against these hazardous fumes.
The Benefits of Using VOC-Free Asphalt
Using VOC-free asphalt comes with several benefits for both public works departments and communities alike. For starters, using this type of material reduces the number of emissions released into the environment.
Furthermore, since this type of material does not require additional safety equipment for workers who lay it down, costs for labor go down as well!
Finally, since there are no harmful fumes released during application or use and no additional cleanup required afterward, public works departments save time and money by not having to pay for extra manpower or equipment after jobs are completed.
It isn’t just members of public works departments who benefit from using VOC-free asphalt either; commuters do too! Since it does not contain any added solvents or binders, it is also more durable than traditional asphalt and less likely to crack or wear down over time. This makes it an ideal choice for road maintenance projects because it will last longer than traditional asphalt and reduce future replacement costs as well as help keep our environment clean from pollutants.
VOC-Free Asphalt, a Better Solution
VOC-free asphalt is quickly becoming the preferred choice for many public works projects due to its ability to reduce emissions without sacrificing quality or durability.
Furthermore, using VOC-free RockAsphalt© can help improve air quality in surrounding areas while also providing cost savings on labor and time needed for cleanup after projects are completed. Overall, switching to this type of material isn’t just beneficial for public works directors and their road crews, it’s also an environmentally stable asphalt solution.